Good intentions behind it, I'm sure, but it's left us with a lasting problem because we're not children. And the allowances that were made for us then should not be made for us now while we're in our 20s, 30s or (Lord, please, please, no) our 40s. I thought of this just this morning as I looked on Facebook and saw that some younger friends of mine are getting together for Bunco tonight. (P J Bunco...whatever that is...do you win them? Wear them? Would I feel the pressure to go buy something new so that everyone thought that's what I actually wear to bed??)
I think I've played the game before. I can remember something years ago...maybe at a women's night out sometime. I get the point...roll a certain number in a set time. Yea. Okay. I can do that...but not for long. And knowing me as these ladies do, I thought it would be fun to write a little comment under the post that said something about my not being invited, don't they think I'd enjoy it, promising not to lecture on Romans 9, etc. But besides not being able to lie about the lecturing part, I hesitated in the middle of typing. Why did I stop? Why wouldn't that be funny?
Because we are grown women who don't obey the commands of God. Read these:
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit,
but in humility count others
more significant than yourselves.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests,
but also to the interests of others.
But our problem is that we read those Scriptures and wonder why no one's doing it for us. Who's looking out for my interests? Why aren't they humbling themselves to serve me? When am I going to get mine? Why don't they want me around? When is someone going to think about me?
He did, ladies. He did think about you. From eternity past, you've been right before Him. He knit you together...wonderfully, beautifully made my the hands of the Creator of stars and atoms. He took the time to not only plan your form but also your times and places. And then He carefully selected the opportunities you'd have in life, in His church...things that He knew you could do so well. And then...to seal the idea to us...to show us the depth of what He's willing to give us...He did not spare His own, only Son for us, but freely gave Him to die for us. Will He not together with Him freely give us all things?
Yeah. We get it. God loves us. But...sometimes it's just not enough for us, is it? We still feel so empty that we seek others to fill us up. And it makes us selfish, selfish creatures who can not rejoice when others rejoice. Instead we notice their rejoicing and turn it into a mirror, a reflection of our worth or of our lack. A house purchase makes us discontent with where we live. A child's grade on a test makes us feel like failure parents. A talent, a party, a dinner...good grief...even mentioning running errands with a friend or a date with a spouse brings envy. Not because we don't want good for them...but because we are so far from humble that others needs can not surpass our own. Consider them MORE important than ME?? Are you kidding?
But Christ didn't leave us here to memorize His commands, but to obey them and to teach others to do so. So, how do we start on this one? Paul already told us. Consider Christ. Think of the gospel. Know who we are...worms, broken pots, wretched women. Know what He did. Know what He left...honor, glory, riches, might, worship, comfort, peace, affection. Jesus gave up the party, gave up having others think well of Him, gave up being included, gave up the mansion...for us. And then know well who we are in Him...and pray to have it matter. Pray that God would make us servants as Christ was that we might truly want more for others than we do for ourselves.
Rejoice with them as they play Bunco tonight. Hope that they have a great time. Pray that it encourages them, refreshes them as young moms. Ask Him to bless them, build them up, and to make their words and actions so reflect the truths of the gospel that they leave knowing Him better than they did when they arrived.
And rest deep within you, knowing that Christ's death gained you more than the forgiveness of your sins. It gained you freedom from yourself, from your selfish agenda, from being a slave to sin...and made you...you already are...alive together with Him. Are you so filled with the wonder of that truth that you are not in need today of Bunco? No? You know what to do. Click some links above and listen, yield and repent with me.
Then maybe we can log on to facebook and find a friend to encourage. Maybe, just maybe, one day a comment about not being included can just be funny because we'll all know the love of God for us in Christ Jesus. And that will finally be enough to make us full...and fully servants of others.